Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bad news in Canada for women harmed by dangerous breast implants

Bravo to Joyce Attis of our group, for her years of working for rights of implanted women.

Women can't sue Health Canada over leaky breast implants: court

Both women were members of a class of plaintiffs that sued Dow Corning Corp. and other breast implant manufacturers in an earlier and separate class proceeding.

Attis opted out of that proceeding in 1994.

Dow Corning was granted bankruptcy protection in 1995.

The manufacturer agreed to pay up to US$3.2 billion to settle claims from more than 300,000 women - including Canadians - who said they had been harmed by the product.

Tesluk only received nominal damages from the settlement, court heard.

After the settlement, Attis and Tesluk began the action against Health Canada on behalf of a putative class consisting of residents of Canada - except British Columbia - who received Dow Corning breast implants between 1962 and 1992.

This class is said to include approximately 29,500 individuals.

They had claimed Health Canada failed to test, ban, recall or warn the appellants about the hazards of the implants.

But the Appeal Court ruled regulatory bodies should not be held liable in negligence.

"This could lead to decreased vigilance by the regulated entity, in this case the manufacturer, importer, and distributor of the product," the judges said. "Diminished deterrence for a regulated industry is to be avoided particularly when it is the industry, and not the regulator, that holds critical knowledge regarding product safety."